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31 January 2019 by Danielle Brill

Why 2019 Will Be the Year of Messenger Marketing

Just as businesses started grasping email, social media and search engine marketing, a new channel came and shook up the digital marketing landscape. That channel is messenger marketing. Unfamiliar with the ins and outs of this rising phenomenon? Put simply, messenger marketing is when businesses use mobile messaging apps for marketing purposes. This includes popular apps such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat and WhatsApp.

Businesses around the world have already begun testing the waters and this is set to rise, with Business Insider reporting that 80% of businesses want to start using messenger chatbots by 2020. This coming from a survey of 800 decision makers hailing from France, the Netherlands, South Africa and the UK. Messenger marketing is sure to play a significant role not only in 2019, but also in the years to come. Here are a few reasons why.

Messenger Marketing Accomplishes Many Goals

Want to answer common questions faster, generate high quality leads or upsell to loyal customers? All this is possible with messenger marketing. Automated chatbots, specifically, can provide swift customer service and move customers through your sales funnel with ease. They do so by helping clients to book appointments, make reservations or order products - through a sequence of quick messages within the messenger app itself.

It’s one of the most versatile marketing channels because it allows businesses to communicate with customers wherever they are in the purchasing process. This is especially useful as a study by Facebook IQ found that 56% of people would rather message a business than call for customer service. 50% are also more likely to shop with a business they can message. For reasons such as these, more businesses will start using messenger apps and chatbots to support their marketing and sales teams.

Messenger Marketing Solves Common Challenges

These include:

  • Having one-on-one conversations with customers. Messenger marketing is conversational in nature, allowing businesses to speak directly with their target audience without having to compete with others in the newsfeed, email inbox or search engine results. It also creates a more conversational shopping experience, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates. In fact, one creator of Facebook chatbots, ManyChat.com, reports that messenger marketing has a 4x higher open rate, 8x-12.5x higher click-through rate and generates 1.6x more revenue than email marketing campaigns.
  • Providing customer support 24/7. Most businesses, big or small, don’t have the capacity to be online around the clock. Messenger marketing offers them many tools to keep their thread under control. These include greetings which appear immediately when a customer opens up a new message thread and saved replies which automatically give answers to common questions.
  • Having a mobile-friendly platform. Statistics on mobile usage show that 52.2% of all worldwide online traffic is generated through mobile phones, while 80% of smartphone users are more likely to buy from companies with mobile sites or apps that easily answer their questions. The very nature of messenger marketing makes it completely optimized for both desktop and mobile, so businesses don’t have to go to great pains to configure it for mobile users.

Messenger Marketing Presents New Options

This exciting new way to interact with customers has the potential to replace other channels of communication altogether. For example, it can be used as an alternative to website live chat software or even email marketing. Instead of signing up to a mailing list, customers can sign up as a messenger contact. All the functionality is there – including the ability to deliver messaging sequences, send links to your latest blog, discount codes for a current promotion, etc. There is also less restriction in terms of format, so you can send images, video and audio files with ease. In addition, you can discover in-depth information on your subscribers that’s usually hard to come by such as their gender, where they live, work, etc.

It’s also important to be present where customers are spending their time, and the top four messaging apps have already surpassed the top four social media networks in terms of global monthly active users. With 1.3 billion people using Facebook messenger on a regular basis, more businesses will start engaging and advertising in this space. Facebook already gives businesses a number of ways to advertise within the Messenger app. These include ads that appear on the Messenger home screen, ads in the Messenger inbox and newsfeed ads that link to a Messenger chat window. WhatsApp will also start displaying adverts in the ‘Status’ screen this year, presenting businesses with a fantastic new way to reach their target audience.

Messenger Marketing is For Everyone

No matter your type of company or industry, members of your target market live online and are using messaging apps. It only makes sense to meet them there. As an early adopter of messenger marketing, you can get a head start on the competition and start building up your list of contacts before the masses realise the value and advantages of this relatively new channel.

Currently, there are about 100 000 chatbots on Facebook, up from more than 30 000 just two years ago. It may sound like a challenge to create them, but there are a number of websites such as ManyChat or ChatFuel which allow businesses to create their own chatbots without the need for coding experience. Making this option possible for all businesses and marketers.

Unsure Where to Start with Messenger Marketing?

The skilled Online Innovations team can create a winning messenger marketing strategy for your business.

If you’re interested in our services, please give Bronwen a call or email her for more information.

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